A 15-minute video highlights the successes Fayetteville has had getting older vacant buildings occupied again thanks to parking reform
HALTOM CITY, TX, June 20, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — Is an idea to improve the south and central area of Haltom City worth 15 minutes of your time? That’s the question currently being posed by the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) to members of the City Council.
Strong Towns, a non-profit organization that works to help cities revitalize, has a concise and fast-moving video entitled Are Parking Lots Ruining Your City? Using Fayetteville — which is considered to be the first city to eliminate commercial parking minimums in the US — as an example, Strong Towns offers a “snapshot of hard-fought progress” based on parking changes that were enacted in 2015. While progress has been slow, it has definitely been steady, resulting in development of homes and businesses in buildings that once sat vacant and unused for years.
Calling the elimination of obsolete parking requirements “a small step with a big impact,” the video makes it clear that getting rid of parking minimums does not mean getting rid of parking. It just means getting rid of obsolete mandates that have become impediments to growth in today’s environment, making it easier to fill vacant older and historic buildings that have so much potential.
The Sightline Institute, an independent nonprofit think tank founded in 1993, published an article last year about the Fayetteville parking issue. The article, No Minimum Parking Requirements? No Problem for Fayetteville, Arkansas claims that “Six years into their deregulation experiment, a growing city thrives without parking mandates.” When asked for some background on the issue, City Planner Quin Thompson said that he had found a pattern when fielding calls from Realtors and potential investors. “Something in the city rules seemed to be keeping those buildings empty—and preventing anyone’s new ideas from taking root…In one case after another, it turned out that the key issue was parking—specifically the minimum number of parking spots required.” Although it was possible to get a variance through city channels, investors seldom tried – likely due to the fact that such a process would be costly and time-consuming with no guarantee of success.
Ideally, the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) would like to see the City Council adopt a thorough Concept Plan to address decline in the south and central areas of the city, specifically along older corridors such as Denton Highway, NE 28th Street, Carson and Belknap. Even as a stand-alone reform, addressing obsolete parking mandates in those areas would surely be a positive step. HUBA first requested such parking reforms over a year ago.
HUBA Founder Ron Sturgeon says, “Haltom City has many areas in the older corridors where the revitalization is badly needed. Creation of an overlay district which reduces or eliminates parking minimums in the hardest hit areas would be a step that will help attract the significant private investment needed to make Haltom City’s corridors bustle again.”
About Haltom United Business Alliance
Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) wants to give members of Haltom City’s business community an advocate and to keep those businesses informed about issues that affect them. They want to make sure Haltom City is business friendly and nurtures small business growth, including automotive businesses in the industrial districts, and bring more restaurants including breweries and eventually a major grocery store to the city. New businesses and growth in existing businesses will create a stronger tax base which will allow the city to pay its first responders wages that are competitive with surrounding cities while improving Haltom City’s facilities and infrastructure. HUBA believes that the southern and central parts of the city need a revitalization plan, to prevent further degradation in those areas, and wants that to happen before the inner-city experiences increased crime and more blight. As retail and office uses are in decline, it’s more critical than ever to attract new businesses. They believe that such a plan requires a strong relationship and support of the business community. Anyone who owns a business in Haltom City is eligible to join HUBA. Dues are $20 annually or $50 for a lifetime membership, and membership is 100% confidential. To join, contact Joe Palmer at (682) 310-0591 or by email at [email protected]. Visit the group’s Facebook at Haltom United Business Alliance.
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